Sabres Prove That The Toronto Maple Leafs Are The NHL’s Most Embarrassing Team

Dear readers:

Nov 15, 2013; Buffalo, NY, USA; Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Randy Carlyle point to the referee during the second period against the Buffalo Sabres at First Niagara Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

I’ve never been a Toronto Maple Leafs fan, but then again, I have never really hated them, either.  I don’t have the time or energy to hate teams – hate is a young fan’s game, and I don’t need that sort of stress any more! – but I certainly have the time to be indifferent, so for many years, the Leafs simply didn’t exist in my world.

Until now.  Because after the Leafs’ latest antics against the Buffalo Sabres, it has become crystal clear: the Toronto Maple Leafs are the most embarrassing team in the NHL.

Let’s start with something that has always bothered me, not enough to really stir strong emotions, but it’s worth bringing up now: their name.  The world of professional hockey is a man’s world, filled with bone-crushing hits, displays of amazing physical skill, and intense competition.  The NHL is filled with many teams whose names reflect the intensity and ferocity of the sport of hockey: the Sharks.  The Sabres.  The Panthers.  The Coyotes.  The Predators.  The Flames.  The Kings.  The Wild.  The Maple Leafs.

What?  Talk about a name that symbolizes the exact opposite of what hockey is all about.  Even the weakest, animal-based name in the NHL – the Pittsburgh Penguins – conveys more power and ferocity than the Leafs.  Hell, even the Maple Trees would have been a better name, since trees are at least sturdy.  Leafs rip.  They tear.  They fall to the ground and get trampled on by every animate object in the world.  Toronto has chosen a symbol, not of strength, but of absolute powerlessness and submission.  That alone should embarrass Toronto fans.*

*Obviously, my attempt to be tongue-in-cheek was not appreciated.  At no point am I dissing an entire nation here; it’s only hockey we’re discussing.

Clearly, though, that is not enough reason to dislike a team.  Unless, of course, the players on the team start taking the name to heart and begin acting fragile and leaf-like . . . as was the case with Toronto’s “captain,” Dion Phaneuf Saturday night:

Way to take the hit like a man, Phaneuf!  But you have no problem cross-checking people from behind, now do you?  If you have read any of my work, you know that I am not the biggest John Scott fan in the world, and while I don’t want hockey to ban fighting I think the staged-fights and brawls need to go.  Having said that, Scott was about to administer a legal hit.  Last I checked, hockey is a hard-hitting affair, and if you take a dive to avoid a check, Phaneuf, you ought to hang up your skates and grab a pair of baseball cleats, because you, my friend, are in the wrong damn sport.

As if Princess Phaneuf’s cowardice isn’t enough, I really enjoyed watching Colton Orr come diving into the fray that ensued once Phaneuf and Cody McCormick got into it.  What – Phaneuf cannot handle himself in a fight?  It’s not like the captain was sucker-punched; he and McCormick seemed to both be willing to give it a go, so why is Orr coming into and trying to jump McCormick from behind?  It was a gutless move by Orr, and dangerous, since his skates could have seriously injured an unsuspecting player.  It would be one thing if someone had jumped a Leafs player who was caught off-guard, but that clearly wasn’t the case, and Orr provided us with just another example of how cheap this team really is.

Honorable mention goes to Leafs forward Frazer McLaren for taking John Scott down from behind when Scott was just standing there!

Nov 8, 2013; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs forward Jay McClement (11) and forward Joffrey Lupul (19) battle with New Jersey Devils defenseman Anton Volchenkov (28) during the second period at the Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

You know, it was one thing to watch Phil Kessel use his stick as a weapon against John Scott in the preseason.  I would have been afraid of Scott, too, but obviously Kessel went too far with his samurai impression, especially when he was jabbing at Scott when the big man was engaged with other Leafs players.   Still, that was just an example of one player acting yellow, so I kind of let it go.  After Saturday night’s display of cheap hits and gutless behavior, though, I cannot let it go, because it is clearly not just one player acting like a punk anymore.   Leafs fans, you wasted your time chanting “Sabres suck” during the scrum.  It is true – the Buffalo Sabres do kind of suck – but at least we fans admit it, and besides, it’s pretty understandable why a team in the middle of a rebuild is one of the worst in the NHL.  What excuses do the Leafs have, for all of the stick-whacking, cross-checking, dive-taking, and attacking players from behind they have been doing this season?  Before you start calling out other teams, Toronto fans, you ought to take a look at the embarrassment your own team has become.

Just think – I didn’t even remember Nazem Kadri’s cheap hit on Minnesota goaltender Niklas Backstrom until it was brought up below!!!

Topics: Buffalo Sabres

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  • vino_antony

    Must suck having 0 readers. I stopped midway through. Sabres shouldn’t talk about embarrassment…too ironic for reality.

    • http://SabreNoise.com/ Richard Spalding

      Zero readers – in your dreams. Of course you stopped reading and failed to see where I said the Sabres do suck this year. At least our players – ah, I’m wasting my time with you.

      • vino_antony

        Oh snap Richard`s defending his article. Well princess if you don`t want to be criticized, avoid posting crap on-line.

        • http://SabreNoise.com/ Richard Spalding

          Who said I don’t want to be criticized? I don’t mind it at all – provided you read what I write. You missed a pretty big part of my post, in which I admitted the Sabres are not a good team this year.

          • vino_antony

            Oh so you want me to be objective? Just like this article right? So you get to talk about how the maple leaf is a weak symbol (coming from an American really? stars and stripes scare you much?) but we can’t point out how dumb your article is? Also if we actually needed someone to point out how bad the Sabres are this year we’d be dumb as sh!t.

          • Dano

            Coming from an american? Stars and stripes? I’d take what I wore over what your Symbol represents. ;)

          • Jes

            and what does that symbol represent?

          • Dano

            It represents many things.

            The Globe is for world wide service. The Anchor is a representation of Naval service ( Not ground pounders though often Marines had to clean up after the Army ;) . ). The Eagle is of Liberty.

            Theres a distinction between ‘ God , Country and Corps. ‘. They are all different with different purposes.

          • Timothy Redinger

            Semper Fi Dano!!

          • Dano

            Always faithful. ;)

          • Jes

            vino your entire post is so dumb it’s hard not to laugh at it.

          • vino_antony

            Jes I’m glad I was able to test your ability to control your laughter.

          • Jes

            Lol awesome reply, 21 days after the fact lol. Funny guy.

  • Daren Bukator

    Leafs fans fill your building. That’s embarrassing.

    • http://SabreNoise.com/ Richard Spalding

      I know – the Sabres are the only team in history to go through a rebuild, right? It’s never happened to Toronto -wait . . .

      • Daren Bukator

        Dude, you say you’re too old to hate teams or whatever, then you make fun of an 80 year old team name. Childish. You’re allowed to rebuild but you can’t be chirping from the bottom. Doesn’t work like that.

        • http://SabreNoise.com/ Richard Spalding

          I’ve been very tough on the Sabres this year. They get no mercy from me when they make bad decisions. I chirp at my own team, but yes, I’m also allowed to comment on other teams.

      • sniperstar

        The sad thing is this happened even when you were a play off team.

      • Shotgun Charlie

        He didnt say rebuilding. he said building…as in…the Leafs fan fill you your building. I guess you are taking reading lessons from John Scott too.

        • http://SabreNoise.com/ Richard Spalding

          Rebuilding as in, “Yes, Buffalo fans are not going to games a lot.” Thanks for requesting clarification!

        • Jes

          Hey shotgun at least Scott doesn’t go around and jumps them from behind because he’s scared to face the opponent. The whole leafs bench was quivering at the very sight of Scott on Saturday night lol. Keep talking your shit. Remember all those years you guys just bought your players and didn’t go anywhere? We are actually building a team with OUR ASSETS not just buying success. Keep talking Laugh fans.

    • Shotgun Charlie

      and apparently….Leafs fans fill the comment section of his blog too

      • http://SabreNoise.com/ Richard Spalding

        Good thing, too, because no one ever comments on my stuff otherwise. lol

    • Kevin

      Geez wow I am sure they bought those tickets up as soon as the schedule came out.

  • Shift_Disturber

    2 words for you: Patrick Kaleta

    • http://SabreNoise.com/ Richard Spalding

      A player who I have said the Sabres should get rid of? I’ve also argued that John Scott is not needed on this team, either.

      • Shotgun Charlie

        4 words then. Patrick Kaleta John Scott.

        • http://SabreNoise.com/ Richard Spalding

          It’s like you guys don’t even read:” I’ve also argued that John Scott is not needed on this team, either.”

    • Sean McGrath

      Three words: slash and stab

  • Murph2417

    You sir are a disgrace to the hockey community. I weep for your hockey knowledge

    • Dano

      If you weep for his Hockey Knowledge, you should understand that quite a few people believe hes quite endowed with a good amount. Enough so that he actually Coaches a team, a pretty good one from what I have heard.

      • DKERIN

        Is that you, Mom?

        • http://SabreNoise.com/ Richard Spalding

          Your mom is named Dano?!?

      • http://SabreNoise.com/ Richard Spalding

        I’m just amused that he weeps!

  • BrianHuddle

    You do realize the team is named after a MILITARY UNIT from the first world war, right? That’s the very definition of manly, tough, strong, whatever you want to call it. But good research skills.

    • http://SabreNoise.com/ Richard Spalding

      Oh, come on – I was clearly having fun with the name.

      • vino_antony

        Why can’t we have fun with your dumb a$$ article? It’s all in good fun right Richie?

      • BrianHuddle

        No offense, but you come off as a Grade A Asshole the way you wrote this article, so nothing can be taken as “having fun”.

        • http://SabreNoise.com/ Richard Spalding

          No offense taken, actually. I have an opinion; obviously many Leafs fans disagree. I assumed I would get whacked!

        • http://SabreNoise.com/ Richard Spalding

          I do appreciate the “no offense” right before you insult, me though! Softens the blow.

    • Dano

      Good bit of History trivia. Conn Smythe did quite well naming the team after his Regiment from WW1. He also Fought in WW2. He was awarded the British Military Cross.

      I wouldnt say the definition your seeking imposes what your reflecting though.

  • Cody

    Where’s mention of you’re player, a player who spends 55 minutes on the bench per game, attacking a small skilled player with no provocation? In a pre-season game no less.

    You do hate the Leafs. Just say so, we would think better of you. Better to be upfront and hateful than a passive-aggressive coward.

    Also, you’re pseudo-macho bullshit about the name “Maple Leafs” is beyond laughable. It’s embarrassing.

    You say hate is for young fans, yet I know plenty of young fans with far less hate and far more intelligence than you. Consider a different career.

    I have been to Buffalo to watch the Leafs play and I always enjoy talking to Sabres fans. I feel sorry for them, when people like you ruin their reputation.

    • http://SabreNoise.com/ Richard Spalding

      Sigh. Again, I have argued that John Scott has no place on this team. Been pretty tough on the Sabres this year. And so on. I see none of you are actually addressing what the Leafs did on Saturday.

      • Cody

        What didn’t you like other than what Orr and McClaren did at the end of the game? Remember that there are some Leafs who feel the same way about them as you do about Scott.

        • http://SabreNoise.com/ Richard Spalding

          “Remember that there are some Leafs who feel the same way about them as you do about Scott.”

          And yet when I call them out, as I called out Scott, I get personally attacked. It’s not a big deal, but clearly no one in these comments wants to actually discuss what happened during the game.

          • Cody

            But you didn’t just call them out, you called out the whole team. Are the rest of the Sabres deserving of this based on the actions of players like Scott and Kaleta?

            Also when you insult a teams name, an historic name at that, you better be prepared for the firestorm. You say you were joking, and I believe that. It’s just hard to tell when you’re sarcasm has the same tone as the rest of your article.

            You got me fired up, which is rare, and I apologize for attacking you personally. Just try not to write sensationalist articles; there’s enough of that around.

            Remember that the Leafs have suffered, as the Sabres are suffering now, for a long time. After finally having just a small amount of success to be happy about, we don’t take kindly to being called an embarrassment, that’s all.

          • http://SabreNoise.com/ Richard Spalding

            Ah, but Sabres fans should just sit back and be called embarrassments, as if we have not had some setbacks, as well? No offense, but apparently Leafs fans take kindly to insulting fans of any team but their own. How is that okay?

            I admit, I didn’t come across as sarcastic about the team name as I would have liked, and I have since added an explanation in my post. But all these fans coming here to personally insult me – not one of them besides you has actually tried to discuss the actions of some of the players on your team.

            Notice I say some – I named the players I wanted to discuss. The Leafs have players I like, but this year your team getting a bit of a reputation for having some pretty dirty play. This is the only time I have written about it. I have, however, written pieces on both Kaleta and Scott and have never really defended them. I had a lot of Sabres fans jump down my throat when I argued that the Sabres were the ones who were to blame for that brawl during the preseason!

            Which is why all of these insults toward me and name-calling are quite amusing, since I call out Buffalo way more than I do your team. Whatever! I do thank you for engaging in an actual conversation; the rest of the comments are just laughable.

          • Cody

            I hear where you’re coming from, but don’t say Leafs fans are this or that. The Toronto Maple Leafs have, as all sports teams do, moronic fans and intelligent fans; and just as it is in all things in life, the idiots tend to drown out the rest. Don’t label a group based on the words or actions of a few, or a team based on a few games.

            The Leafs being the Leafs take an unfair amount of criticism, especially from the main-stream media; because it will get the most attention. This has led to hypersensitivity for many fans.

            I will be the first to criticize the Leafs, or a Leaf, if they are deserving. For example, Kadri being suspended for running over Backstrom.

            Do the Leafs have dirty players? Sure. So do the rest of 29 teams in the NHL. And That is where the real problem is.

          • http://SabreNoise.com/ Richard Spalding

            Fair enough – I should refer only to the majority of Leafs fans who came here to insult! (And notice how my post didn’t attack FANS; I simply criticized the PLAYERS.)

            Having said that – where are the intelligent Leafs fans (besides you) who can actually admit their team has pulled some punk moves this year? No one came here to say, “Yeah, our team has been a bit embarrassing at times” and then try to start a conversation. The sample I got to work with today – not too impressive! :)

            I’m sure they think they have hurt my feelings, though. I’ll try to keep my chin up at hockey with my kid later tonight.

          • Cody

            Here’s hoping your kid plays more like Moulson and less like Ott. :)

          • http://SabreNoise.com/ Richard Spalding

            You can ask Dano – he and I disagree sometimes over what make a hit clean, what makes one dirty, etc. I try very hard to teach my son to compete like hell, want to succeed more than most, and respect all players, even his opponents, every game. If he turns out to be an instigator, he’ll be one sorry little man!

          • Dano

            Replying to Richard but.. Cody..

            If its a hit that makes Richard say ‘ That was uncalled for! ‘ and Im acting unamused/like nothing is wrong.. Its my kind of hit, probably worthy of suspension, banning or whatever. I like old school hockey. Gimme Probert and Domi round 14 over the ice-capades of today.

            I like hip checks, low bridges. Cant stand this no-touch icing. Hate the emotion being pulled out of the game.

            LNAH is my kind of league but it isnt televised in my area. If it were or if a team were here, I would have season tickets/center ice package for them!

          • Cody

            I hear you. I enjoy the skilled game of today, but hate the soft penalty calls every game. 5 on 5 is the best, with a power play here and there. Not a game played almost entirely with special teams.

            I also love good, hard hits. As long as they’re clean. Any goon can wildly throw his body at another player. A good hit takes skill.

            I also enjoy fighting. If the fight happens from emotions boiling over, it’s great. I just don’t like fighting for the sake of fighting between players who play 5 minutes a game. Slows down the game and is generally uninteresting.

            And you’re right, battles like Domi vs Probert were great and I do miss them.

    • Timothy Redinger

      And do we really need to rehash the fact that Scott merely said something to Kessel in the preseason, and then had to defend himself as he got a two handed slash from Kessel, jumped from behind by a guy on the bench, and then Kessel took two more swings at the defenseless Buffalo Sabres goon? I am all for and in agreeance with the comments on Scott – I don’t like him and think he is wasting a roster spot – but lets take off the Leafs goggles just a little bit.

      • Cody

        Shall we go over the play? I’ve got time so we might as well.

        Before this play starts, a young Buffalo player challenges Jaime Devane, another young player, to a fight. Devane wins handedly. Scott is infuriated and immediately confronts Devane in the box, obviously the Leafs respond verbally.

        Randy Carlyle, in an attempt to diffuse the situation, puts out his first line. Buffalo’s coach (who thankfully for Sabres’ fans has since been fired) puts out his fourth line.

        Scott and Kessel are lined up with each other at the face-off. Before the puck is dropped, Scott says to Kessel (confirmed in post game comments from the two) “I’m going to jump you.”

        Kessel looks at Scott as if he might be joking. The puck is dropped, Scott immediately drops his gloves and goes at Kessel. Kessel backs-up and takes a slash at Scott, a slash that the majority of NHL players had no issue with.

        Scott is then swarmed by the Leafs on the ice and Clarkson jumps off the bench (an admitted mistake by Clarkson). Kessel then takes a slash at Scott when he is on the ice. This is the slash I take issue with, but Kessel admitted after the game it was uncalled for and he regrets it.

        Please don’t give this “Leafs goggles” stuff. A good trick to remove your bias is to think: If that happened to my player or my team, would I be upset?

        For example, when Kadri bowled over Backstrom, the Wild goalie, the other day, I thought: If a Wild player had hit Reimer or Bernier like that, would I be mad? I would be fuming. So Kadri made a mistake, and he was right to be suspended.

        Now your turn. If McClaren immediately dropped his gloves after a face-off and went after Moulson or Ennis, would you be mad? Would you be upset at either of them if they slashed McClaren? No. You would probably be disappointed they didn’t swing at his head.

        • http://SabreNoise.com/ Richard Spalding

          Many people here don’t agree with what Scott did, although it is partly Carlyle’s fault for sending out the personnel he did. Even so, I wrote a piece wondering if the Sabres were the new bullies on the block and got quite a bit of flack from some Sabres fans.

          Of course, none of the Leafs fans who came here yesterday were interested in entering a civil discussion with me, or else they would have discovered that.

          Kessel, by the way, has used his stick as a weapon at other points, so his regret over doing this rings a bit hollow. I can understand he didn’t want to get hurt, but this wasn’t the only time he had done that.

          But no – I wouldn’t wish that a Sabres player had swung a stick at someone’s head. Sorry, if you are afraid for your life, you skate the hell away. Hard to believe Kessel could not out skate Scott long enough to keep himself safe.

          None of which explains why Orr is trying to sucker punch McCormick during a fight, flipping over and nearly cutting a player with his skates. Or why John Scott, who has clearly tried to redefine his game since being suspended and was just standing there making no effort to fight, was tackled from behind by McLaren.

          Obviously, I was upping the ante by calling the Leafs the “most” embarrassing team, but if a majority of Leafs fans are truly okay with this type of behavior, that is pretty sad.

          • Cody

            I wasn’t discussing the most recent game between the Sabres and Leafs. People were saying that battle during the pre-season wasn’t Scott’s fault, and it absolutely was.

            And you’re right Orr and McClaren over-reacted. I personally think other players should have their spots on the roster, but i’m not the coach.

            As far as swinging the stick at someone’s head, I was exaggerating.

            Honestly, the majority of Leaf fans are probably okay with this behaviour. Just like the majority of fans of every other team are okay with their team being dirty, or to their eyes “tough”. Doesn’t make it right, that’s just how sports work.

          • http://SabreNoise.com/ Richard Spalding

            I had one dude on Twitter tell me he wished Kessel had stabbed Scott in the throat using his skates because he was afraid Scott would break Kessel’s neck with a punch “like Bertuzzi did.” At that point, I knew it was best to stop chatting with this insane person.

          • Cody

            That’s disturbing. Scary to think you could be watching a game in an arena, sitting next to someone like that. It’s just all around depressing.

        • Timothy Redinger

          Sure, but before you go over the play – you might want to watch it again. Scott doesn’t drop his equipment until after Kessel makes a move towards him.

          And even before that…Carlyle is an idiot for even sending Kessel out because guess what – he had last change AND JOHN SCOTT WAS ALREADY ON THE ICE. Rolston didn’t make the decision to send him out and do something…he was on the ice continuing his shift.

          Could Rolston have pulled him off…sure he could have. But Carlyle had the ability to prevent the whole thing, so did Rolston.

          Whats even more disgusting is the fact is how the Leafs acted in Saturdays game…so again…take off the Leafs goggles and rewatch.

          • Cody

            It’s laughable that you think Kessel made a move towards Scott. Scott said he was going to jump Kessel. He told reporters that after the game.

            Carlyle was trying to diffuse the situation, he didn’t think a Sabres’ goon would attack his best player. But you are right, Carlyle shouldn’t have put Kessel on. He was heavily criticized by Leaf fans, myself included.

            Really, the whole event was overblown. It happened, it’s over. Just don’t say Scott wasn’t in the wrong, and he somehow reacted to something Kessel did.

          • vilifyingforce

            Randy Carlyle is an idiot for not sending his 4th line out against another 4th line? Scott doesn’t have to fight anybody, he doesn’t have to lean in on Kessel and tell him he has to fight, that’s all bull crap. It’s a preseason game. Rolston deserved his fate when he was fired because he’s clearly not ready to handle being the main man behind the bench. How did the Leafs act so disgusting Saturday night though? Phaneuf comes around the net and falls down as Scott is coming at him, you can say he dove out of the way if you want I could care less, he’s allowed to. He gets up and after the whistle goes looking for Scott when McCormick jumps in the way. What the hell is that? Can Scott not fight his own battles? Orr came flying in and McCormick ducked him and Orr’s feet almost took Scotts head off; so who was being overtly dirty or primadonna here? Looked like a nothing play the Sabres are trying to rally around and turn into something.

          • http://SabreNoise.com/ Richard Spalding

            That’s impressive – you managed to explain away everything the Leafs did. See, I don’t do that – I call out the Sabres when it’s fitting. None of the Leafs fans in this thread would know that – too lazy to do some research – but I do. I suppose you’re also going to tell me Niklas Backstrom was somehow at fault for Kadri plowing him over; either that, or Kadri just didn’t see him. Keep believing.

          • vilifyingforce

            I did exactly what you managed to do. Explain everything away from being the Sabres fault. It’s a molehill of a game you’re trying to turn into a mountain for reasons I just can’t comprehend. And yes Kadri deserved to be suspended for hitting Backstrom if you look at the play and not at what other players get away with. Of course I’m sure you think Kadri should have been suspended for filling in Granlund when he was staring at his ankles. Keep believing.

          • http://SabreNoise.com/ Richard Spalding

            “Of course I’m sure you think Kadri should have been suspended for filling in Granlund when he was staring at his ankles. Keep believing”

            This has been the problem with almost every Leafs fan that has come here: making assumptions. Why can’t you just discuss the incidents I bring up – it’s not really that hard.

          • vilifyingforce

            Man, you brought up the Minnesota game and made an assumption about me.

          • http://SabreNoise.com/ Richard Spalding

            In this instance, you’re right – I jumped to a conclusion based on your comment about McCormick deliberately ducking to avoid Orr. Sorry about that!

      • vilifyingforce

        “Jumped from behind” lol Clarkson gave him a hug.

    • Jes

      lol are you really blaming that on Scott? Kessel is the one who went after Scott. Take a good look at the video tape.

      • Cody

        If you seriously think that Kessel, a small skilled player who barely even forechecks, initiated an altercation with a 6’8 behemoth whose sole purpose is to fight, I don’t know what to do for you.

  • connorcrisp

    Troll is trolly

  • sniperstar

    Almost as gutless as a 6’8 goon going after a Teams star player. But you know that never happens…

    • Kevin

      Oh! and Orr nose diving and almost slicing open a couple of players is better. get real. he should be suspended for that dangerous reckless act.

    • Sean McGrath

      Almost as gutless as Kessel spearing and slashing his way out of a fight and then Frazer grabbing Scott from behind for doing nothing but a routine check. Check yourself before you comment something that can be said twice as much right back to you.

  • UncleOtis

    Stop being embarrassed for the team’s surname and more about the city it belongs to
    #bush league blog/city

  • connorcrisp

    How to get comments on your blog.

    1) Troll leaf fans.
    2) Wait.
    3) Profit?

    • UncleOtis

      Looks like he quintupled his followers…for 15 mins

    • http://SabreNoise.com/ Richard Spalding

      You came to me, not the other way around. Make sure you know what the phrase “to troll” actually means, son.

  • connorcrisp

    Hey Sabre nation! Whats the latest on getting miller out of here? Also, does anyone else feel sorry for Matt Moulson?

  • brokensilence

    better to be named after a national symbol (and as brian huddle mentioned, a military unit) than an inanimate object, no? much less one that is less mighty than a pen, to quote an age-old proverb.

    the sabres’ record is more embarrassing even than the leafs’ 9-game playoff drought (which can be blamed solely on poor goaltending, not on the teams themselves). the embarrassment is losing to the sabres, but then again the leafs were without their top-3 centres, so offence was going to be hard to come by.

    leaf fans fill the sabres’ building whether the sabres are rebuilding or not — to the point that the sabres increase ticket prices when the leafs are in town because they can’t make money any other way.

    more embarrassing than what the leafs supposedly do (which is the same as every other team — have you ever seen the bruins?) is the fact that the sabres had NO response when milan lucic ran over ryan miller. at least colton orr defends his captain. that’s what teammates do.

  • El Kabong

    The Leafs are missing their 3 top centres and still handled the Sabres. Maybe next time they’ll sit all 4, just to give the Sabres a chance.

    • connorcrisp

      Knuckles Bernier could take’em

    • Andrew

      Leafs lost to Buffalo on Friday, did they not?

      • vilifyingforce

        Different rosters Friday and Saturday. :P

  • http://SabreNoise.com/ Richard Spalding

    All name-calling aside, is there anyone who wants to actually discuss the events I wrote about? Hasn’t happened in the comments section so far.

    • MLHS

      *Fart noise*

      • http://SabreNoise.com/ Richard Spalding

        See – this is what I had to respond to! Any one of my children could write something better than this!

        • Kevin

          I think its time to do some editing, these comments getting out of hand.

          • Dano

            Drive off the entertainment? Are you crazy!

    • UncleOtis

      My first set of golf clubs for children were Spaldings
      How appropriate all around

    • El Kabong

      If a talentless Sabre goon wants a fight with a Leaf, he has plenty of options. The Leafs aren’t gonna let some meatbags goad their stars into penatlies. Did you see Orr or McLaren challenge Tyler Ennis or Tyler Myers? No. Because they have a notion of honor. They are Maple Leafs.

      • Dano

        Tell that to Brian Gionta. Surely, Orr didnt try to run a Canadian and didnt sucker punch Gionta? Notion of Honor you say?

        Ive seen a LOT of bitter leafs fans coming out of their hive like angry bees. If Richards article can put such a display from your multicultural lands with an article about a hockey team, there must be some merit to his words.

        • connorcrisp

          Look! One of the seven fans the sabres have left is posting something! Lets pay attention!

          • Dano

            Wow, looks like theres more then I knew. Last count I had was 5! Our ranks are growing!

        • http://SabreNoise.com/ Richard Spalding

          Dano, you’re going to try and have a discussion with fans who really have no interest in doing anything but trolling here. :) Just trying to save you some time!

          • Dano

            No shi.. I have time. Watching the Pond freeze now that the farm is closed.. I need something to do. Im hoping the new Boards work out well.

            Theres a Guy whom wears a Domi Jersey when we usually play.. I might have to stop my protest and Buy a Scott Jersey and run the crap out of him this winter. :D

            Ill get a video. Pair of almost 50yr olds.. How old was Gordie when he last played?

        • Shotgun Charlie

          Yes and Brian Gionta took James Reimer out with a head hit. I wonder if anyone came to Ryan Millers aid when Lucic took him out. hmmm

          • http://SabreNoise.com/ Richard Spalding

            Lucic hit Miller this Saturday? I am seriously amused by the inability of most people here today to actually discuss the game in question. BTW, you can’t find anyone in Buffalo who was pleased of the team when Miller got hit. We can be objective about our team.

          • El Kabong

            I tried to comment about the game, but your acolyte, or maybe alter ego, Dano, started to go on about multiculturalism and Orr teaching Gionta about the importance of not concussing Reimer.

          • http://SabreNoise.com/ Richard Spalding

            Alter ego – nice!

            Man, at least when Buffalo fans disagree with me we end up having a fairly civil and intelligent discussion.

            Anyway, we are now calling Orr’s attempt to tackle McCormick from behind “honor?” Or McClaren tackling Scott, who for once I cannot complain about, from behind “honor”? Phaneuf could have handled his fight with McCormick; what Orr did was cowardly. McClaren could have gotten in front of Scott and made sure he didn’t get involved; what he did was cowardly, as well. I’ve never actually defended Scott in this blog, but leave it to the Leafs to make me actually do that.

          • Caitlin Campbell

            Rich, Dano is your alter ego?! That explains sooo much!

          • http://SabreNoise.com/ Richard Spalding

            I know, because I have so much time to comment from my account AND an alter ego!!! Cripes, these comments are ridiculous.

          • Caitlin Campbell

            Jeesh if you have enough time to run an alter ego you better be posting double! Get on it! haha Welcome to Leaf land :D

          • Dano

            NO SOUP FOR YOU! :D

          • Dano

            Trust me, RIchard and I arent ‘ alter egos ‘. its a 50/50 usually.

          • El Kabong

            Thats why they got John Scott. Annnd we come full circle

    • Dano

      Dont think the capability is there Rich. Apparently they havent read any of your work to know what your about. Its easier to just flame.

      They wouldnt know you actually coach a team or that your have a background in what some would say ‘ helping others ‘.

      • http://SabreNoise.com/ Richard Spalding

        All of which makes the name calling and absolute lack of an intelligent discussion worth the price of admission!

        • Dano

          Thus why I usually dont even bother.

          Usually, before getting involved or commenting on a discussion, I look at the people involved. No point in an opinion if its unfounded for the discussion.

          I realize the context of what you are saying. Others cant understand or comprehend what your projecting, thus, they feel entitled to say whatever it is they are going to say.

          As I have stated before, people represent themselves. Its their decision to say as they wish. Its a reflection upon them as an individual.

          Many are truly lacking in deduction skills and comprehension.

    • Jes

      It’s funny how they all run away when they actually have no clue what they are talking about. Like that one guy who’s like stop making fun of an 80 year old team lol. Why does it matter how old the team is? lol

      • http://SabreNoise.com/ Richard Spalding

        I made the mistake of trying to get some of these readers to actually discuss what happened in the game. Only Cody (above) did that, for which I am thankful. Too many people just read my part about the name and stopped reading, when I was just setting everyone up for the idea of Phaneuf falling down like a wimp. I felt bad people got offended and added an explanation in the post, but then again, if they couldn’t read the entire post, there’s not much I can do.

        • Dano

          “I felt bad people got offended and.. ”

          Dont.

          Your here to write an article. You arent paid for it, your a ‘ contributor ‘. In life, you coach a team, coach your son through a great sport that many enjoy.

          Its a sport many cannot afford to get involved in at a young age. Its a sport that requires family involvement. Its a sport that even the ‘ Trolls ‘ of Toronto admire and go to watch.

          “if they couldn’t read the entire post, there’s not much I can do.”

          You can invite them to attend the classroom you teach in at your dayjob. ;) Might do them some good :D

  • DKERIN

    SPALDING!!! GET YOUR FOOT OFF THE BOAT!

    • MLHS

      spaldinggetyourfootofftheboat

  • DKERIN

    Those Leafs are an embarrassment!

    • Murph2417

      We should start cheering for buffalo

  • El Kabong

    Sunday. June 20, 1999. Brett Hull NO GOAL!!! Eat it Sabres

    • http://SabreNoise.com/ Richard Spalding

      Thanks for reminding me that your team has not been to the Finals for longer than our team has.

      • El Kabong

        The only legacy of the Buffalo Sabres is a closet full of ugly uniforms

        • http://SabreNoise.com/ Richard Spalding

          Your ability to engage in objective discussion is astounding.

          • El Kabong

            I tried, I wasn’t engaged. Again, Phaneuf is a very good hockey player. Better dman than any on the sabres. He is not about to be goaded into a fight by talentless goons. Not in a close game, not when the Leafs are struggling to get by with only 1 regular NHL centre

  • Crossed

    Phaneuf slipped, he didn’t dive. And of course Orr is gonna get in there. He remembers Scott and his antics well. Didn’t want any of him near the captain.

    • http://SabreNoise.com/ Richard Spalding

      Wow, someone capable of discussion! Personally, I don’t think Phaneuf slipped. That’s an opinion, of course, so there’s no way to prove it – just what I feel. As for Orr – yeah, I can see why trying to suckerpunch McCormick would be an attempt to keep Scott away from the captain. Come on – I can at least see the Phaneuf slipped argument. Orr went directly at McCormick, not Scott.

  • Jes

    So I don’t really understand this column Rich. Like why are you making fun of the Leafs logo? You do know the Maple Leaf is the symbol on the Canadian Flag? It represents our nation and the unity we have as people in our country. I personally dislike the Leafs but you can’t be chirping a team like the Leafs when there what 15 or so points ahead of us in the standings. The Leafs fans can chant whatever man not there fault that they sell out our stadium faster than we do. It was a BS play by the Leafs in that scrum. But what are you gonna do?

    • http://SabreNoise.com/ Richard Spalding

      A. Clearly not making fun of Canada, The reference was to Phaneuf “falling” like a leaf to avoid a hit. Subtle, so I know some people missed it.

      B. You can’t chirp a team ahead of you in the standings now? So if Boston runs the goalie again I cannot discuss that?

      Sorry, but I can chirp at any team I want. The Sabres are playing bad hockey – I’ve admitted it. But the Leafs are playing dirty hockey, so I wrote about it.

      Sorry if you take offense because you are Canadian, but I highly doubt you would be saying the same thing if I was criticizing the Bruins. I’m not going after a country; I’m calling out an NHL team for playing cheap hockey. I didn’t know that wasn’t allowed.

      • Jes

        No Rich you clearly misread my post.

        B. Obviously you can chirp any team you want but it won’t really get you anywhere when they are demolishing you in the standings.

        2nd – A lot of teams we’ve played this season would say we are a dirty team. With Kaleta, Ott, Scott, McCormick and Tropp on our team I don’t see any problem with that.

        • http://SabreNoise.com/ Richard Spalding

          Well, I read “you can’t be chirping a team like the Leafs when there what 15 or so points ahead of us” and assumed you meant something like they are hands off if they are ahead of us in the standings! Sorry if I slightly misinterpreted you!

          I don’t write because I think it will get me anywhere: I write when I have an opinion. I think Toronto is playing pretty gutless hockey this year. I’d rather watch a young team like the Sabres lose a lot than watch them take out goalies, swing their sticks during a fight, leap onto people from behind, etc.

          You know how I have felt about Kaleta and Scott. The Sabres banished Kaleta until he gets his game under control. Scott, for all his uselessness, has only been suspended once in his career. I don’t see the Sabres playing anywhere near “dirty” hockey. Can’t say the same for the Leafs, and what they did last night was kind of the straw that broke my back. I was pretty disgusted with Kadri’s hit on Backstrom, but I let it go because it wasn’t against the Sabres. Now, I had a chance to call out a dirty team, and I took it. I call out Buffalo if they deserve it; this is no different!

          Thanks for clarifying your comment, sir!

    • http://SabreNoise.com/ Richard Spalding

      Sorry to add another – one of our writers is actually from Toronto, btw, so obviously I would never write anything to make my own staff feel like I am insulting them.

  • sabrenoise can suck it

    you are a piece of shit the leafs are named after an army regiment, and the sabres are a bunch of pussies who send a goon after star players…. phaneuf is busy cant be bothered dealing with your 4th line cheapshop goons.. sabres are the king of classless players… scott, kaleta, ray, barnaby ….

    • http://SabreNoise.com/ Richard Spalding

      I have a winner! Thanks for the read!

      • sabrenoise can suck it

        blow me fag

      • sabrenoise can suck it

        thats what your mom said to me last night

    • Kevin

      Aren’t you forgetting Kadri, and Nose diving – almost slicing and dice – Orr? And if you going to throw Ray in their I might as well toss Domi in there as well, since those 2 were favorite combatants but by no way classless. I also think you missed the whole point. Kessel is the classless one, he is one who used his stick like a wand. But let me back up here a bit. It all began with one stupid move ” Carlyle putting the Kessel line out in the first place” If you want to blame somebody for this WHOLE John Scott media love affair it all boils down to that point. I am not saying Scott is an angel, however, between Shanahan, the suspension and Ted Nolan, he was watching his p’s and q’s and avoiding confrontation. Anything he got into Saturday night was merely overreaction from the Leaf players who just couldn’t wait until he would drop his gloves so they could all pile him like a schoolyard fight. That is embarrassing, not the Sabres.

      • sabrenoise can suck it

        kardi is a little punk, and scott put himself in that position, hes a piece of shit kessel should have swung at his fucking head

        • Kevin

          So intelligently said. Are all Leaf fans colorful as you?

      • http://SabreNoise.com/ Richard Spalding

        Never got a chance to congratulate you, Kevin, for bringing intelligent, objective thought into this troll fest!!!

  • Benjamin M Taylor

    I agree to a certain extent, and I think a lot of it comes from coaching. I’ve never been a big Randy Carlyle fan, for this exact reason. Remember how Buffalo felt about Boston when Ryan Miller got run by Lucic? I think the Leafs feel somewhat the same way, knowing that Buffalo is the physically dominant team. Now, I know, all the Maple Leafs fans are throwing their hands up, saying, “BULLSHIT”, but I remember days when Buffalo used to get shoved around. There’s one of two ways a coach can handle it: One: put up with it, and hope your star players don’t get roughed up (like the Sabres of mid-2000′s when Drury and Briere took some bullying), Two: play like Randy Carlyle says: underhanded, slashing, and when John Scott’s on the ice, bail and hope he gets a ten-minute major. Well, mission accomplished. Toronto’s team may be more talented than Buffalo’s, but I’d take losers with heart and ethics over winners with no sense of pride and fairness any day!!!!

    • http://SabreNoise.com/ Richard Spalding

      Thanks for reading with an open mind. I don’t make it a habit to be sensational and call out other teams; I have my hands full with the Sabres this year, lol. But I had seen enough of the way Toronto was playing, so I felt the need to comment on it. Clearly, I struck a nerve.

  • Benjamin M Taylor

    I just re-watched the incident here. Clearly, John Scott does nothing wrong in hitting Phaneuf. Phaneuf cross-checks McCormick, who drops the gloves, as Orr comes flying in to double-team him. Meanwhile, McClaren blindside take down of John Scott. Maple Leafs trying to prove how tough they are. They were so worried about it, that they got outplayed in the second and third periods and nearly blew a two goal lead against the worst team in the league. So, I somewhat agree with you on your label. Toronto Maple Leafs Hockey Team: Embarrasing.

  • sabrenoise can suck it

    the only think embarrassing is a sabre fan…. last time i was at a game there were 90% leafs fans to sabre fans

  • sabrenoise can suck it

    the only way this gay site can get anyone reading it is to mention the leafs

    • Kevin

      Ahh yes the intelligent Leaf fans have arrived

      • sabrenoise can suck it

        the only thing that arrived is my cock in your moms mouth

        • Kevin

          Classless doesn’t even describe you. Do you even know anything about hockey or do you just troll places like this spreading your vulgarity around in an attempt to overcompensate your lack of verbal intelligence. My guess you know nothing about the game whatsoever which is why you felt the need to hide behind such a stupid screen name. So you were offended by the article, get over it. You made your point. You don’t need to insult everyone and their families. I could have very easily comeback and insulted your mother, but I didn’t. There is no honor in that. So if feel there is honor in what you are doing, then go ahead dishonor yourself, but don’t blame us. That’s on you pal.

          • sabrenoise can suck it

            ill fuck you till you love me faggot

          • Andrew

            I see that the Leafs fans are well represented.

        • Dano

          Absolutely uncalled for.

    • MLHS

      You aren’t a good ambassador of Leafs Nation, sir. You are a homophobe and should be ashamed.

  • [email protected]

    Funny article, disturbing comments…

    • http://SabreNoise.com/ Richard Spalding

      Thank you, Joey! You noticed there was humor in the article!

      Maybe I should dumb down my writing and insert smiley faces for readers who have no clue how to interpret satire.

      • [email protected]

        :)

  • t town raider

    Ryan miller should have stood in there last year against lucic too, I guess. Take a hit right? Great comments about jumping someone though, there must be some sort of how do you say… procedure? I guess you can jump anyone if they’re facing you. Seems to be all that matters. Do you consider Canadiens wimpy as well? Or the canucks? How do those names suit you? Soft right? Tell anyone else that in canada.

    • http://SabreNoise.com/ Richard Spalding

      What a ridiculous thing to say. Phaneuf is a blueliner – yeah, he shouldn’t bail out on a hit like a little girl. Miller is a goalie – no, a goalie shouldn’t be taking hits. That’s understood by everyone, except Kadri, apparently. And Miller wasn’t facing Lucic, which makes your point twice as weak. Amazingly, the rest of your comment makes even less sense, because I clearly have a problem only with one team, not the entire country of Canada. Disliking the Leafs doesn’t mean I hate Canada, just like disliking Buffalo doesn’t mean you hate America. What nonsense.

      • t town raider

        If you think the maple leafs is wimpy you must feel the same way about the teams I mentioned. No? I dont actually care.

        Maybe dion knows scott is hunting heads (eriksson). And you didnt speak to the jumping kessel.

        If dion is soft for trying not to get run, miller is an idiot for going out there. Stay in your net.

        • http://SabreNoise.com/ Richard Spalding

          “I dont actually care.” Yet here you are, wasting your time.

          “And you didnt speak to the jumping kessel.” Actually, I did. Wrote an entire article on it. Said the Sabres were wrong. Do your research – I don’t care for John Scott or Patrick Kaleta very much. My opinions are all over this site for you to read.

          “Stay in your net.” Backstrom did. Kadri still ran him. But no, the Leafs don’t play dirty, no no no.

      • t town raider

        Its the part of your argument where you try to say the leafs are embarassing because you dont like the team name. Thats something my girlfriend wouldn’t even try to argue because of the sheer stupidity of it. Thats all.

        • http://SabreNoise.com/ Richard Spalding

          The only reason I brought up the name was to make a joke about Phaneuf falling down, “like a Leaf.” I even admitted in the post, it was an attempt at humor. It failed to reach many people, I admit. There were other points I made. Moving on.

  • vilifyingforce

    Trying to avoid a hit makes you less of a man? Players get the hell out of the way all the time. There’s some serious cognitive dissonance going on if you’re actually against meatheads like John Scottbeing in the game, but, against players having the brain capacity to try to avoid being run over by said ~300 pound meatball. Scott tried to run over Phaneuf, Phaneuf either slipped or dove out of the way. Phaneuf tries to go at Scott and McCormick jumps in the way? Can Scott not defend himself? Why the hell is McCormick getting involved? Orr comes flying in from the fray and McCormick ducks under him sending him flying. The whole incident is a non-incident, but, it seems you need something, anything to rally around. Whole article seems pretty disingenuous; either hate the Leafs and write stupid dopey crap or be above the hatred that comes with fanaticism and write something reasonable.

    • http://SabreNoise.com/ Richard Spalding

      “Can Scott not defend himself?”

      Wait – didn’t you guys rally around Colton Orr rushing in to defend Phaneuf? Can Phaneuf not defend himself?

      “McCormick ducks under him sending him flying”

      McCormick didn’t duck to avoid Orr; he didn’t even see Orr. Good try. You can’t find any non-Leafs fans who didn’t find Orr’s move stupid and dangerous.

      “be above the hatred that comes with fanaticism and write something reasonable”

      Ha ha ha ha! Hmmm. Interesting coming from someone who describes my writing as “dopey crap” (have you read anything else I have written? Of course not.) and in a thread filled with fans who personally insulted me, rather than discuss the events of the game. I can and will criticize the Sabres when I feel the need to; how many Leafs fans who flooded this site can say the same? Fanatics, indeed.

      • vilifyingforce

        “You guys”? I never defended Orr coming in, him and McCormick should have stayed out of the situation. How do you know McCormick never seen Orr, but, you know that Phaneuf saw Scott? How does Orr go flying over McCormicks back if McCormick doesn’t duck?

        I also never described your writing as dopey crap, I said you had a choice to make.

        • http://SabreNoise.com/ Richard Spalding

          Since I’ve never written an article that criticizes any team other than the Sabres, I do make a choice. When the Sabres caused the preseason brawl, plenty of Canadian sites criticized the Sabres. I didn’t search out those sites and complain, or go after the author like many people in this comment section did. However, I’ve seen the Leafs pull some crappy stunts this year, so I wrote about it. If Leafs fans enjoy seeing their team lead the NHL in penalties and pull what I feel are punk moves, fine. I had an opinion, wrote it, moved on. We don’t need to rally around this incident – the team doesn’t read my blog. As a writer on this site, I write my opinions when I have them. People need to stop thinking this is anything more than what it is: one man’s opinion. I’m not lobbying for suspensions; I just shared my opinion. I’m sure Leafs fans share their opinions on the Sabres all the time, which is fine, too.

          • vilifyingforce

            So you want people to treat your opinion as just yours, but, you’re free to make all sorts of assumptions about others? Lame.

          • http://SabreNoise.com/ Richard Spalding

            Yep. If you read these comments, I am clearly the one making assumptions about others, name-calling, insulting, etc. I also troll Leafs sites and get bent out of shape if someone else has a negative opinion about the Sabres! Man, you nailed it!